Sunday, September 03, 2017

Inimitable and imaginable thoughts

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Throughout childhood and adulthood, I have lived a life of my own.  Essentially meaning that always life in a hostel, shared accommodation, rented and shared apartment, life with aunts and uncles, and my own apartment, home or condo.  The ability to move from place to place, share with schoolmates and friends, and eventually with family and children.  The moves and folks I shared with my accommodation and food, have never impacted what I was and how I behaved.  I simply was myself, irrespective of where I was and who I was with.  I am very sure there were times I was not the best roommate or a welcome guest or the best family member, as I simply like to mind my own behavior, and seldom wanted to involve in matters that of not personal.  This might have been just the way I want others to be with me, and I try to behave the same with others.  I care and feel with my heart, and the impact of life’s events are hard on my system to handle events, so I also try hard to not be impacted as I suffer personally by taking things to heart.
In the USA if you lived if I have, there are many people you come in touch with, your own family and friends, community, fellow nationals and may immigrants just like you.  They are all like your own journey, working, students, families and relatives and sometimes just friends.  I have these and a lot of new associates, acquaintances and new members of the vast and common core of immigrants.
In all these years of being by myself, in India or outside it has not been on mind to worry about who I associate with or who I wanted to be friends with.  I don’t think I will do so in the future.  What I have noticed is that even the very well educated, well acquainted, well healed members still show the imaginable thoughts on their affinity to communities.  I notice this more with the freewheeling comments on social networks.  While we are all entitled to opinions (I have mine at least once week on something), the most well-established members of the community have prejudices of others with different names.  This has become more obvious with movies and their content and names.  People are becoming experts on the community by writing their reviews (on community rather than movie) and somehow associating to their displeasure on what others are.  Lately the social media accounts and many opinions on community and caste have become commonplace, but pertaining to communities that are not their own.  Arjun Reddy movie is one such example, where the opinions have been so much to just the name of the movie and how it was directed.  I finally saw the movie, and felt it was another movie with a simple story of love and physical and self-abuse, ending with the routine ending of the lovers being united.  Although critics and moviegoers find it different, I found the movie a simple story of love with perhaps current Indian setting.  It was not a ground breaking or trend setting movie, but was different than Telugu movies.  The social media and the promotions have been focused on the hype of the language and movie making, and how the actor/s are taking the movie to the stage.  I would believe that creating the hype is to sell more tickets, and all the actors and makers will probably have moved on by now to their next movie.  What has been uncommon is how people have taking extreme opinions on this single movie.  Especially for those in the USA, who have the luxury of so many various languages and options for moviegoers.  For a cheaper price, your theatres have multiple choices.  Anyone who likes movies have an enormous choice of movies that you can imply pick to watch.  Each movie is made with some conviction by the makers and language and genre are simply a choice of the audience.  Indian moviegoers should know this as we do make regional language movies and many of them are translated (dubbed) into all major Indian languages.  And moreover, they are of different concept and genre.  No one is asking the moviegoer to see a movie that they are unwilling to watch.  But the ability to write on social media is allowing for everyone to find something negative to comment on.  It is a phenomenon that has no logic.
First you are not forced to watch a movie.  Then you interject the community or negativity to the making of a simple movie.  (we no longer have pathbreaking concepts, just mashups).  Then you put it out and a lot of your followers then start to add their own take on it.  Many of them not even watching the movie, but just for opinion) and the trial of comments continue until they end up being a critic of something the movie has nothing to do with.  This typically starts with someone who is educated and has been a part of a large immigrant community.  Anyone who is reading this can associate with my imagination, and start to write something good, something sensible, something endearing, something encouraging, or simply don’t write.  No one in 21st century America should worry about last names, rather the future of their children and families and their future generations.  Not some dumb title of a move or content of a movie.  You have better and more important things to worry about.

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